March 6, 2015

SOUNDINGS by Janine Donoho {Excerpt/Giveaway}

Title: Soundings: Water Elemental
Author: Janine Donoho
Genre: adult paranormal suspense/thriller
Publisher: Booktrope Publishing

Is there hope for a grieving mother’s heart?

Ecopsychologist Dr. Margo Updike loses herself in a shadow life after her daughter’s tragic death. When a century storm deposits a young girl on Maggie’s secluded beach in Puget Sound, a miraculous renewal begins. Then the apparent orphan exhibits signs of neglect and worse, prompting Maggie’s vow to protect and heal her—no matter the cost.

The arrival of a mysterious man claiming to be Sorcha’s father upends Maggie’s life. She finds Morrissey strangely irresistible even as her friend Sheriff Ajax Smith questions the man’s motives and odd behavior. As a serial killer’s victims begin surfacing in Seal Cove, Jax must curb his suspicions to enlist Maggie as a profiler.

Will Jax and Maggie find the murderer before he strikes again? With Morrissey’s secrets trapping Maggie on destructive shoals between reality and legend, can she grasp his true nature before losing her chance to rebuild a life worth living? To what depths—and heights—will she go for a daughter, a beloved man and, ultimately, her humanity?


Maggie dreamt of bones—an ocean of bones. The curve of sunken hulls resembled vast ribs while creatures great and small filled the between spaces. Infinitesimal diatoms and seahorses morphed into leviathans’ bony caverns.
The bereft mother tarried over drowned children, who were primarily cartilage and, therefore, malleable. Or so dream-Maggie hoped. Yet over and over again, the ivory clay she worked refused to take the shape she craved.
The form she sought kept twisting into one both younger and darker. The child even metamorphosed into another species. Caught within a deeper puzzle, Maggie finally rose from the depths—an ascending whale—just as Diggity rammed through the dog door. Crashing into her subconscious like icebergs calving, he recalled her with a full-throated bark.
The retriever looked straight into her dazed eyes, as animals do when making Herculean efforts to communicate. The animated bones she’d been piecing together liquefied and trickled between wistful fingers. She wanted to weep.
Maggie lay on her stomach in bed. Only then did she realize that the warm body snuggled against her throughout the night was no more than a cooling indentation. The child was gone.
Going from bleary eyed to wide awake in a breath, she rolled out of bed and raced for the sliding glass door. Diggity hopped back and forth through the flap, urging her to action. Faintly she heard Veda barking, probably from the bay’s shore. The dog’s woof pinged and echoed.
A fallen cloud swathed Maggie’s bedroom deck. Fog. Trees disappeared and reappeared—ships’ prows bearing down upon her. Slipping a handy wool sweater over thermal pajamas, she scooted her feet into hard-soled neoprene sneakers and headed out the door. Diggity encouraged her with low-rider antics and verbal abuse.
“I’m coming—I’m coming.” She nearly slid off the moisture-laden deck at the stairs.
Vapor from her breath mingled with mist—drenching hair, lashes, and exposed skin. Diggity brushed by her, unhampered by two-legged constraints. Her walkway surprised her with twists and turns that leapt from the heavy fog only to disappear as soon as she passed. How a solitary child could maneuver this foreign terrain both mystified and frightened her.
Once on the beach, she saw nothing of the waves lapping at the shore. She followed where her hearing took her. In her haste, she slipped and slid over wet rocks and mussels.
“Please let her be all right,” she chanted in a litany of despair and prayer.
As she reached the waterline, Diggity woofed before plunging into the water toward his packmate’s barks, coming more labored now as Veda’s swimming increased her need for oxygen. Chuff, chuff, chuff marked the dog’s position.

Holy Mary and Jesus! Did my little girl go back into the sea?

Award-winning writer Janine Donoho grew up navigating extremes—perhaps due to the ups-and-downs of her San Franciscan birthplace. That Escher landscape primed her to embrace imaginary worlds. With one foot planted in fuzzy science and the other in invented realms, she inhabits the land of WHAT IF. Published in novel-length and short fiction, along with essays, Janine pursues the thumps that echo in the night—and writes about those, too.

With her intrepid husband, Italian greyhound and tuxedo cat, Janine makes her home in the spectacular Okanogan highlands of Washington State. Mountain lions, coyotes, and bears—oh, my!

1 comment:

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